Brrr! Time to Warm Up.
Cold-Weather Comfort Food
Both pumpkin and traditional (homemade) tapioca pudding are comfort foods for me. If you have only ever had tapioca pudding from the deli case, we are not talking about the same thing – I won’t eat that gummy, gluey stuff. This simple version is more like a firm custard than the deli namesake, and it has much smaller bits of tapioca.
What’s more, this recipe has 4 ingredients in all, and those are one-ingredient ingredients (canned pumpkin contains only pumpkin, tapioca is dried cassava-root starch, sugar is sugar, and this particular soy milk is soy… and water… if you count water). No preservatives, no thickeners, flavorings or the like. Yes, it’s sweet. However, there is no junk in it… no xanthan gum, no corn syrup…! Real food.
Three is a Charm
I’ve been making tapioca puddings for a long time. When I was allergic to cow’s milk, I posted a rich recipe I developed for LynnH’s Sinful Coconut/Vanilla Tapioca Pudding here. That was in February 2003, when we thought Coconut Oil was a bad thing for hearts. A dozen years later, it’s a fad food for health. Go figure!
The First Version
I had a recipe for Brown Sugar Tapioca Pudding in my holiday dessert cookbook “I Can Eat These!” a handful of years ago. I’ve been making that quite often when I feel chilled to the bone or need comfort.
Then one night I wondered if I could make it with pumpkin. Oh, my goodness!!! I may never make it without again! (If you don’t have pumpkin, you can omit it and change the sugar to only 1/2 cup, and you’ll have my original recipe.)
Above you see the only ingredients in this pudding. Regardless of what type of milk you choose, be sure to use one with no sweeteners. Mine is soy, with two ingredients: Soybeans and water. If you prefer, I have a few friends who used a box of almond milk instead of the soy and loved it. Just one box (4 cups) of some sort of milk product will do, though I am guessing that some rice milks might be a bit too thin.
No Tree Nuts
Pumpkin-Comfort Tapioca Pudding
1/2 c Minute Tapioca (granules)
3/4 c Brown Sugar (I prefer dark)
1 box (4 cups) unsweetened Soy Milk (or sub almond milk or other type you tolerate, but not lowfat)
1 small/ 15-oz can (1-3/4c) Pumpkin (not pie mix, just one ingredient)
Mix dry ingredients coarsely in standard-sized round crockpot/slow cooker. Add pumpkin and stir. Add milk (I add half a box at a time, stirring each time).
Crock Pot/Slow Cooker method
Turn pot on high. Set buzzer for 20 minutes.
When buzzer goes off, stir again. place clean cloth over pot to prevent spitting. Set buzzer for 30 minutes. When buzzer goes off, open the lid and look for boiling against the edges of the pot. It should boil significantly on the edges but don’t expect it in the middle (the heat is in the walls of the pot). After inspecting, stir again. It is probably not done yet… it should look like the photo above. There should be resistance against your stirring utensil as you stir, and it should be sticky with small clumps on your stirrer.
At this point, set your buzzer for every 10-15 minutes and evaluate/stir again. It will thicken after cooling, but tastes better if the pumpkin and milk meld together in the heat.
When it is clear that the mixture has boiled at the edges (the color of the mixture near the boiling edge will be darker in color, as you can see in the photo above), turn off the pot. If you can remove the crock from the heating element, do so. Leave the lid off for about 15 minutes.
At 15 minutes, if you like the cooled/thickened crust on top, skim it off and eat it! If you prefer it all to be smooth,
stir it in. Either cool it further or eat warm. The final photo shows the texture of the pudding after being partially cooled. The photo at the very top of this post shows it after being cooled overnight.
If you have no crock pot, you can cook in a 3-4 quart double boiler with the same instructions as above. If you have no double boiler, place on a stove burner at a very low setting and stir at least every 5 minutes to keep it from burning on. When it’s cooked per the description above, cool 15 minutes and stir or not, as described above.
Note: This pudding must be refrigerated if you do not eat it immediately.
Makes: Approx. 8 (eight) servings, about 1/2 cup each.
Enjoy!!! Share!!! This is yummy to anyone, not just those with food restrictions.